Ingraham appointed to vacated Glenwood City Council seat
Staving off what otherwise would have been a costly and time-consuming special election to fill a vacant Glenwood Springs City Council seat, council on Wednesday agreed unanimously to appoint James Ingraham to the at-large position vacated by Kathryn Trauger last month.
“I’m humbled and honored and just hope to do my best for the city and for my fellow citizens of Glenwood Springs,” said Ingraham, who has been a member of the city’s Financial Advisory Board for the past two-plus years.
“I feel like I will bring some energy, enthusiasm and optimism about our community, and a financial background that I hope will be useful to the other council members,” he said.
Ingraham was a former partner in the global financial services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1982 until 2011 when he retired. He and his wife Terri moved to Glenwood Springs the following year.
That financial background was cited by council members at a special meeting Wednesday evening in their decision to select Ingraham to serve out the remainder of Trauger’s term until the April 2019 city elections. Trauger announced at the Feb. 1 council meeting that she would have to step down after almost three years on council due to work conflicts, after taking a job with neighboring Pitkin County.
The remaining six council members needed at least four votes to appoint either of the six candidates who applied to fill the vacancy, prompting Mayor Michael Gamba to have each of the councilors offer their top two choices in an effort to reach a quick consensus.
Among the applicants, including Ingraham, former city councilor Ted Edmonds and past council candidates Amber Wissing, Sarah Gordon, Tony Hershey and Jonathan Gorst, two names rose to the top of the list — Ingraham and Gordon.
Councilor Shelley Kaup first nominated Gordon to fill the post, but a 3-3 vote meant council had to reconsider. Councilor Steve Davis then nominated Ingraham, and the decision was unanimous.
Gamba prefaced the discussion, saying that a special election would have taken a minimum of three months to arrange, at a cost in the range of “tens of thousands of dollars,” all while trying to conduct city business one council member down.
“We have six very qualified candidates, and I could see a number of these people run for council again in the future,” Gamba said in listing Ingraham and former councilor Edmonds as his top picks.
“Jim brings a perspective that is very broad and doesn’t have any one focus,” Gamba said. “He has some qualifications that the city, with so many needs and limited dollars to pursue them, really needs.”
Councilor Davis agreed.
“Because of the challenges we have as a city … James will be a great benefit up here,” Davis said.
Ingraham was Kaup’s “second choice” to Gordon but is someone she said she would be happy to work alongside.
“He is newer to town, but he brings a lot of experience,” she said. “We do have to keep in mind that we on council are policy directors, but we do have to have a good understanding of the financial side of it.”
Ingraham will be sworn in at the beginning of tonight’s regular Glenwood Springs City Council meeting.